Pinnacle Studio 14 Ultimate, retailing at $99.99, is the most recent version of the company owned by Avid’s considerable line of software for content creation for video and audio PC partisans. Pinnacle has always been steadfastly devoted to entry level consumers, and excludes the advanced mechanic editing characteristics of the luxury directed computer hardware optimizations that qualify others and Premiere Elements 8; its concentration is definitely on a cleaner, more sensible interface.
3 versions of this software are available, with testing being conducted on the Pinnacle Studio 14 Ultimate, retailing at $99.99, which is the middle priced option. Studio HD, at $49.00, does not include the encoding of Dolby Digital 5.1; authoring by Blu-Ray, as well as some other effects, and the highest priced, Studio Ultimate, at $129.99, includes a backdrop green screen as well as 4 additional plugins from Red Giant Software.
The laptop used for testing included a screen of 18.4 inches; 800GB total disk space; Nvida GeForce GTS 250M video card; 6GB of RAM, and an Intel Core i7-820QM processor, but Pinnacle has stated that whatever computer running Windows 7; XP SP3; or Vista and having 1GB of RAM; a 1.8GHz single core processor; and a graphics card compatible with DirectX9 is adequate. It is, however, recommended that computers using it are running the application have at least a 2.4GHz dual core AVCHD processor and 2GB of RAM for the application to perform at an optimum level.
It is to be assumed that the Core i7 processor and its 6KB of RAM would have been more than adequate, but it was not perfect. It was possible to create a number of short films, using an array of transitions, and it was a simple process to export these in each case. Generally, it was a brisk, responsive program; quicker than the Adobe Premiere Elements 8, only not quite as fast as CyberLink PowerDirector 8. However, there were a number of stability issues, with the program crashing once when attempts were made to exit the application in Windows 7 as well as save the finished work, and all the work was lost. The program also crashed whilst attempts were made to create a menu for the disc, though it was possible to reinstate the task when the application was restored, in this case.
The installation process was a simple one, and one which did not need a reboot. Launching a new project took an average of 24 seconds, and on its initial startup there is a tour available, as well as a sample project, and the user is able to access these for referral at any point during the use of the platform.
The principle window has a 3 square interface that resembles that of both the CyberLink PowerDirector 8 and the Adobe Premiere Elements 8, but Pinnacle has wisely chosen a littler default sizing for the window in which the movies are premiered, a good feature for those with PCs that are lower performance, and this size is easily adjustable with a slider above the window. On the top of the left hand side, 3 mode buttons enable choosing between the activities of importing your footage; editing your movie; and actually making it, this last being for configuration and export of the complete production to the internet; a tape; a file; or a disc. The interface seemed brisker and far more reactive than that offered by Adobe Premiere 8, although it boasts only 2 video tracks, besides sound effects; music; and some others. However, CyberLink and Adobe products do offer more flexibility in terms of layering and editing.